Creating a Cozy Tablescape

Fall is just around the corner, with all of the holidays and delicious foods! So much time is spent around the table so it just makes sense to do a little refresh in the kitchen or dining room. I partnered with Spoonflower to bring you ideas on how to create a cozy and inviting tablescape for the fall!

Patterns are everywhere during the fall! When I was creating my tablescape, I wanted patterns that could be functional during the fall as well as all the other seasons of the year. I decided to go with a color scheme that could be used during the spring and summer months as well. The trick to designing to this tablescape was adding different elements that distinctly reminded me of the fall. Lots of rustic touches, candle holders, and tea lights all give me the feeling of the season.

The most difficult part about designing the tablescape was mixing the patterns. Spoonflower has an incredible selection of fabrics and I loved being able to express myself through different designs, however there were just SO MANY cute fabrics, I couldn’t decide. One of my biggest challenges was getting all 3 fabrics to  work cohesively despite them all being different patterns. I used a bold table runner print with lemons and then decided to do a minimalistic, pink floral napkin. The curtains also were a solid color with white floral designs. This really tied everything together and ensured there wasn’t too much going on in the space.

The hallmark characteristic of the fall is a feeling of warmth and coziness. I lit candles and tea lights to create that feeling. One thing I liked about both is that they were very neutral colors and didn’t at all take away from the lemony runner.

Overall, I’m so excited with how everything turned out! The dining room was a huge project that I wanted to get done and the fabrics from Spoonflower really made the room come to life!


Faux Flowers and Plants that DON’T look FAKE

I want to start off by saying 1. This post is sponsored by Nearly Natural, but reflects my honest opinions and thoughts! 2. Basically all of the faux plants in my home are from Nearly Natural. When I like something I tend to stick with it and I’ve bought multiples of the plants I really love!

Nearly Natural was kind enough to give me an amazing 20% off code to share with you all! You can use the code “MICHELLE” to get the discount! Also, there’s a 30% off code for the cutest faux cactus and my 5′ golden cane palm! You can use code “1stTime4Faux” to get 30% off!

This past year I’ve discovered the wonders of faux flowers/plants that look real at first glance. Obviously, if you go up close to a fake plant or flower you can touch it and realize it’s plasticky or silky, but I’ve found that the best faux greenery makes you look a little harder. You actually have to touch it or look carefully to see if it’s real. Here are a few of my favorites!

I am a firm believer that balance is everything! I personally love a mix of artificial plants and faux plants. This cactus is one of my latest finds from Nearly Natural! The spines are very rubbery and overall gives me peace of mind that my cats aren’t going to get hurt if the brush up around it.

The plant on the floor in a basket is a faux sansevieria. It is one of my all-time favorites and I am constantly having people comment on how “healthy” it looks, which is basically the ultimate compliment!

I love hanging plants! They instantly fill up a space and give off a lush feeling. I try to dress mine up with woven baskets and macramé hanging planters. Most of the hanging plants that come from Nearly Natural already come in a white, plastic planter and have an attachment for you to hang it with. On my piano I have a pothos and philodendron. Honestly, I could use about 5 more of these faux hanging plants because I use them to frame a lot of different spaces. I usually try to hang them from high up because they really fill out an empty space. The leaves are detachable so I try to keep them in higher spaces I know Frumpy won’t get to because I don’t want him to eat them.

I used hanging plants in my bedroom as well. I find that they look really great on shelves! If you look to the left I have an arrangement of silk roses. This is one of my new favorites because it blends in so well with real flowers and plants! Although it’s an arrangement of artificial flowers, you can’t really tell until you get a little closer. Plus, the color is AMAZING!

The other day someone asked where I bought my palm and what type it was because they thought it was real, which had me really convinced it was a good buy! One of the big reasons I got into faux plants was because I had 2 cats and I was constantly anxious that they would nibble on the wrong plant and get sick.

I used to think that faux plants were so so TACKY, but now I swear by them! The artificial arrangements and plants truly have made a world of difference in my home! They’ve allowed me to create a whimsical and warm environment, while not putting my fur babies in danger! Feel free to check out Nearly Natural and to use code MICHELLE for 20% off your order and code “1stTime4Faux” to get 30% off the faux cactus and my 5′ golden cane palm!


Dressing Up a Basic Macramé Hanging

I picked up this macramé hanging when macramé first became BIG! Then they started mass producing the same ones over and over again and slowly it became less exciting in my eyes. This one has been hanging out in my closet for the past 6 months because I just didn’t know where to put it. Finally I saw these tassels and just knew they were meant for making this macramé new again! For this project, you’ll need colored tassels of your choice, a basic macramé hanging, scissors, and a hot glue gun. You could also pick up colored yarn, but that is optional!

I chose to do a pattern of 6 tassels at the top and 6 tassels in the middle. I cut the tassel loop in half and then tied it on to the different spots I picked out.

After I finished tying all of my tassels, I turned the macramé over and hot glued all of the strings in place so you couldn’t see them from the front.

This part is completely optional, but if you’d like to add some pom poms to your design, 
1. Cut a small piece of yarn and put it aside. 
2. Wrap the yarn around your fingers about 30 times. 
3. Take the small piece of yarn you put aside and tie the middle of the yarn as tightly as possible. 
4. Take some scissors and cut the loops. You may have to even the pom out a little because the strings won’t be even at first.

The pom poms can be used to hang on the top string of the macramé.

The end result is a super cute and unique-looking macramé wall hanging! I used mine in a gallery wall, but there are so many different ways you could decorate with it!


The Ultimate Coffee Corner

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Mr. Coffee and reflects my personal opinions.]

I’ve been dreaming up the ultimate coffee corner for a while now and this past week I finally got around to putting it together! I actually ended up styling it two different ways and am not quite sure how I want to keep it so feel free to let me know which design you like the best in the comments!

Obviously to design the coffee bar cart I had to first decide on what coffee maker to go with. The one I’m now using is the Mr. Coffee Easy Measure 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker and it fits in really nicely to my morning routine. In the mornings I’m usually rushing to get things done and I’m always late for appointments! One of my favorite features is the brew later option. You can actually set the time for when you want the coffee to start brewing!

There’s also a coffee grounds scooper included that shows how many cups you will get per scoop. I really am not an expert at making coffee so I love that Mr. Coffee already has already done the measurements for a consistently great tasting cup of coffee!

To figure out how much water to add, all you have to do is pick how many cups of coffee you’d like and match the color on the scooper to the color on the coffee maker and fill it up to that mark.

If you’d like to brew the coffee immediately, you can just do the measuring, press a button, and wait for the fresh scent of coffee to fill the room! Another great thing about the Mr. Coffee Easy Measure 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker is that it includes a 2-step Advanced Water Filtration System that improves the taste by removing impurities in water. It will also show you how many hours since the coffee has been brewed and will automatically shut off after 4 hours. Friends, I can’t tell you how many times I have left the house and forgotten to turn something off. I also am super forgetful and sometimes can’t remember if I turned things off or not so this gives me a little peace of mind that I don’t have to worry about if I did or not!

Our household cannot live without coffee. My husband is obsessed with coffee and is a little bit of a zombie before it so being the great wife that I usually brew us both a cup to start the morning off! Just out of curiosity, how many cups of coffee do you usually have in a day? Feel free to leave the number in the comments below!


Ombré Planters

What did the porcupine say to the cactus?

“Are you my mother?”

Thank you for entertaining me and reading quite possibly the worst cactus joke I’ve ever read! I was looking for good cactus jokes to start this off and honestly, they were all bad, however I probably chose the one that was most terrible and slightly confusing.

To start off this super easy DIY, all you will need is:

  • orange paint
  • white paint
  • paintbrush
  • plate
  • cacti
  • planters of different sizes

I started off by using just the orange paint on my first planter. When I got to the next planter I added more white paint to the plate and mixed them very well so the colors wouldn’t be streaky.

Near the end I ended up with this color, but obviously you can adjust everything until you get your desired color.

You can arrange them by shade, but I personally really loved organizing them randomly because it made the colors pop a little more and balanced the whole look out!


Refreshing Small Outdoor Spaces

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bed, Bath, and Beyond and reflects my honest, personal opinions.]

Summer has got me so excited to spend more time outside. My backyard is actually really tiny, but I love decorating areas that are challenging. I thought about what I wanted in an outdoor space and I really just want a relaxing place to sit, read, and relax!

So this is what the space looked like at the beginning. Yes, those are old cardboard boxes and a bunch of random stuff on the floor. I’ve honestly neglected this space for a while so I was incredibly excited to spruce it up a bit!

Since the space is small and I wanted to stay in budget, I looked at what big items I wanted to fill the space with first! The first piece of furniture I picked out was this AMAZING swing hammock chair!

The next big item I picked out was this fun outdoor rug! Since my patio is mostly concrete, I wanted to make the area more homey. When I saw the pattern, I immediately fell in love!

Lastly, I decided to add little touches to give the area more personality. I decorated the swing hammock chair with a Magnolia Home blush throw, this frayed chevron throw pillow, and a small faux sheepskin rug.

For the finishing touches, I picked out another pillow with a tribal pattern, solar-powered string lights, and a bamboo lantern!

Finally, I picked out these pink bistro key high ball glasses for when guests come over!

Here’s a little before and after of the entire space! I cannot wait to spend more time outside in my cozy, new plant-filled patio!



How I Quit My Job to Be a Full-Time Blogger!

I can’t believe I’m writing this post! Firstly, I am so so grateful for all of your support. Interacting with you all is the highlight of my day! Thank you so much for following along on my little Instagram journey! It’s been so hard not to tell you guys, but a few weeks ago I turned in my letter of resignation and I’m now going to be blogging full-time!

How It All Began

I get a lot of questions asking how I started out and I guess to begin we’d have to go back two-ish years ago to when I first started blogging. The wild thing is, I started blogging so I could get free books! I never thought I’d actually be able to do it as a full-time career. One day, I was on Instagram and stumbled upon this space called Bookstagram, an online community of people who love books. I saw their photos and since I love reading, I thought I’d try it out. [Side note: When I started out, my photos were not good. I look back on them and wonder how I ever thought they were good, but I also look back and realize that doesn’t matter. I had to take the bad photos to practice so I could take what I think, are good ones!] So I started blogging about books and probably in June of last year started asking publishers if they would be willing to send me books to review and almost all of them said yes!

At that point, I was over the moon! Fast forward to September and I started taking lifestyle photos with my books (i.e. bedroom with books, shelf with books). Slowly I realized that people were also connecting to my lifestyle photos and enjoyed the design aspect as well so I started adding more of that in and had so much fun creating! In December, a company reached out to me to see if I would like to take photos with their products for compensation. Personally, I was kind of shocked someone would want to pay me to take photos for them. Anyways, a wild thought popped into my head and I somehow got it into my mind that maybe I could come up with DIYs and cute spaces for a living! Like WHAT A DREAM!

I started incorporating more home decor into my photos and would reach out to brands I loved to see if they wanted to work with me on projects I’d dreamed up. Keep in mind, I still had a full-time job so I’d rush home from work every day before the sun set so I could take photos, create new spaces, pick up home decor, and create new DIYS! After that I’d respond to emails and make sure my content was set for the next day. On the weekends, I worked 6-8 hours just to get things done, but it was so worth it! In 4 months, I was able to replace my current salary with blogging and this was only part-time!

My Parents’ Reaction

My whole life my parents have been incredibly supportive of me. My mom would always tell me that she just wanted me to be happy. In my culture, a lot of families push you to a stable career with a good salary so I’m super thankful for my mom’s open-mindedness. When I first told my parents I was thinking about quitting my 9 to 5 job, they were a little skeptical because blogging is so foreign to them, but what nearly brought me to tears is that they still supported me. They basically said that as long as I could make a salary to live off, they’d support my decision 100% even if it didn’t work out.

What Now?

So here I am, I’ve quit my job and am very excited about the next chapter in my life, but also crazy scared! A million different scenarios of failure have popped into my head, but I think that’s because there’s so much possibility and that’s the exciting part! I was talking to a friend and just telling her that I’m afraid of not making it and then feeling embarrassed. She told me that I should be proud of my decisions and unafraid of taking chances. That even if I do fail, I should be proud because I took a chance on something I believed in. Something else that has encouraged me is I know that no matter what happens, God is going to take care of me. I know that my self-worth is not measured by if I fail or succeed and that has been really freeing.

One thing a lot of people have asked me is, “So are you just going to hang out at home and take pictures?”. I think there’s a big misconception that since I’m working from home, I’ll have all this free time, but honestly I find that when I’m at home, I feel the need to constantly be working. Being your own boss can be tough because you are the one motivating yourself to get things done, however I am so excited about the creative opportunities and the ability to do a job where I get to pursue what I’m interested in.

I can’t even thank you guys enough for being a part of this. I am overwhelmed by just how kind your messages have been and cannot wait to have more time to come up with exciting new things for you guys!


Surprising My Sister with a Bedroom Makeover

One of my favorite things to do is decorate! I love creating spaces that feel like home and when Tuesday Morning reached out to see if I wanted to decorate a space for a loved one I was SO EXCITED! The person who immediately popped into my head was my sister! She recently moved into her first post-college apartment and has been asking me to decorate. She actually told my mom a few weeks before that she never thought I was actually going to do it and it was so hard to not say anything! For real though, my sister is my best friend and is one of the people I most admire. It really wasn’t a question who I would pick because she is constantly giving back to others and is always there for me and all of our friends.

My main focus for her room redecoration was her bedroom office space. I found this cute letter board for $10! My sister recently started reading Harry Potter so I added a book-themed quote! Since she’s been really busy, I also picked out a few faux plants that won’t require any maintenance. The cactus and mini succulents had such cute planters I had to get them! The mini globe was $15 and her favorite color so I went ahead and picked that up as well. Now if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have an obsession with twinkly string lights! They had a lot of different kinds so I picked up a long strand to go around the prints I put up. Also, I ended up creating a space below her desk to organize her printer and desk accessories.
The letter board is probably one of my favorite finds because they’re so much fun to customize and I knew she’d love changing it up!

Next I added this rug! I’ve actually seen a lot of similar ones, but this one was only $59.99 and came in such a pretty, neutral pattern!

I switched out her bedding for a softer, white quilt and added a mint green quilt as an accent! Whenever I design a space, I focus on using neutrals and adding a pop of color because it leaves a lot of room to add more design pieces later.

So funny story, I started decorating while she was at work in order to surprise her and it took a long time to move furniture and get things perfect! I was still running around like a crazy person, trying to pick things up and honestly only had like 90% of the room done. I was out buying more flowers for her flower wall and when I got back to her apartment, I saw her car. So I walked upstairs with her and at this point she realized something was going on! When she walked into the room, she was so surprised! Also, I ended up not even using the flower wall in the final look, as seen below, because it ended up not turning out as well as I had planned so in the end we added twinkly lights behind the bed!

One of my big worries was that she wouldn’t like the design because we have such different styles, but after asking her 3 million times if she liked it, she still said yes so as long as she’s happy, I am!


Click here to find your closest Tuesday Morning! Tip: They have deals and coupons on the site so make sure you check before you head to the store!


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tuesday Morning and reflects my personal opinions on the brand.


Pillow Talk: Arranging Your Pillows for the Coziest Look

Like a lot of you, I am always trying to get the most out of my money. At home, that means I need to find creative ways to mix up my space! Here are 3 different ways to arrange your pillows to switch things around and make the most of what you have!

  1. Putting the pillows side by side is a great way to make your bed look more full. It also allows you to show off how cute each individual pillow is! The macrame pillow gives the set more texture, the embroidered geo pillow balances everything out with the neutral tones, and the pom-pom black and white pillow is just so much fun!

  1. This is probably my favorite way to organize the pillows! Also, a little tip is I like to put the most vibrant one in the middle. The black and white printed pillow is bold and visually a little easier for my eyes to handle in front.

  1. Having just one pillow in the middle is budget-friendly and a little more simplistic if you’re not all about having tons of decorative pillows on your bed! The white emmie shams have a really simple cut-out pattern to balance all of the print in the middle. Side note: Can you tell I have a favorite pillow out of them all?!

  1. Bonus Tip: Move the pillows around into different patterns in order to get a different look! When I switched out the black pillow for the shag pillow, I really loved how neutral the overall look became.

For more pillow inspo and home decor looks, head over to @astoldbymichelle on Instagram! A huge shoutout to Cstudio Home for sending me these amazing pillows! If you’re interested in the pillows that are featured in this post, click here to shop them!


DIY Planters: I’m a Plant Mom Again Pt. 1

Hey y’all! It’s so late and I’m exhausted while typing this so forgive me for any typos! I just am so excited about being a REAL plant mom and had to share this fun DIY with you(P.S. the fake plant post is on the way! I’m just waiting for some of them to come in. Don’t fret my plant killer friends!).

Here are a few ways to spruce up those $1 pots from Home Depot!

You’ll need:

  • a paintbrush
  • twine
  • pots
  • masking tape
  • white paint
  • gold sharpies
  1. Take the planter and tie twine around the middle of the pot. Then take paint and cover the bottom half.

2. Take tape and make a diagonal pattern. Then take the paint and cover the spaces. Take the tape off once you’re done and BOOM a beautiful and quick pattern!

3. Put two pieces of tape on the pot to make a triangular pattern. Then paint the triangle to create a nice geometric look. I forgot to take a photo of the final look, but you can see it in the last photo!

4. I call this one cute, calm, and collected. I think this might be my favorite pot out of all of them! I painted the whole outside white and then took a gold sharpie to do the face. A paint marker might work better with the paint, but the sharpie did the job!

And there you have it! The cutest little pots you ever did see! They were so easy to paint. It probably took less than 45 minutes to do them all and they create such a fun look!


Plan the Best Galentine’s Ever

7 Rings has been stuck in my head non-stop lately and so obvs I had to throw an Ariana Grande themed Galentine’s!

Channeling my inner Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, I knew I had to have a pajama party! These shirts from Femfetti were so much fun to wear! We did a mix of Thank U, Next and Love Like Ariana & Ari shirts and I just loved the mix and match of them! Everyone got to pick out pajama bottoms, which were from Old Navy and super reasonably priced!

We had a mix of everyone’s favorite sweets and I picked up these fun glittery cups from Target. P.S. When I was setting out the Sprites, they all started falling out of the box they came in *cries*, but my besties helped me pick them all up!

And lastly, as a nod to 7 rings we had (diamond) ring pops! Unfortunately, my receipts aren’t looking like phone numbers so this was obviously a close alternative! The seven was from Target and very cheap! My favorite budget-friendly party decor is the Spritz collection! They have cute plates, banners, and balloons for amazing prices!

How are you planning on celebrating Galentine’s/Valentine’s Day?


Big Changes!

Sometimes it feels like you have to spend excessive amounts of money to create your dream space. Don’t let Pinterest and Instagram make you feel like that! One of the biggest home decor blogger trends I’ve seen is wallpaper. It completely changes the look of a room and gives it a more vibrant appearance.

It’s hard to commit to a specific wallpaper because it seems like such a hassle to put up and take down. The most appealing option at the moment is removable wallpaper! Easy to put up and it doesn’t completely destroy your walls when you take it down.

I’ve seen the cutest accent walls going around Pinterest and my absolute favorites are the brick interiors! The brick wallpaper I decided upon came in these rolls. All I had to do was wipe off the walls with a wet paper towel, peel the white backing off the brick wallpaper, and smooth it out on the wall. I am one of the least handy people in the world so the task of putting these on the wall made me really nervous, however, I was impressed by how simple it was to put up and remove. I didn’t realize at first that you had to match the patterns up when you did each panel, but the amazing thing was that when I took a roll off the wall so I could change it’s position, it went back up without a hitch and still clung to the wall. Side note: I’m the kind of person who wants to get things done rather than perfect so while this took me 30-40 minutes to put up, my husband says it would take less time if I didn’t rush!

Here is how it turned out! I am very pleased with how it all looked together. I partnered with NuWallpaper, who has a ton of peel and stick wallpapers for any vibe, to bring you this post! You can my code MICHELLE15 for 15% off at https://www.wallpops.com/nuwallpaper. Let me know below if this is something that you would try out!